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The Company We Sadly Keep

By Geoff Dutton | Progressive Pilgrim Review | October 25, 2107

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

A triple-threat epidemic is sweeping the land—not just some deadly virus, water-born disease, or auto-immune reactions to toxins, although those too plague us—but of secrecy, unaccountability, and impunity, bypassing checks and balances, impervious to any outside scrutiny or supervision. This cancer on the Republic has metastasized throughout halls of power and workplaces almost everywhere.

In the private sector, when you sign on as an “exempt” employee (mostly meaning you get paid a fixed annual salary without union or overtime), you may be required to agree to:

  • Have your communications, even keystrokes, monitored
  • Company-arranged arbitration in the event of a dispute
  • Be dismissed for any violation of company policies
  • Possibly take a drug test and/or a personality test
  • Hold the company blameless for any grievance against a fellow employee
  • Not work for any company offering similar products or services for some period of time.

That is to say, we make the rules here, and what happens in the company stays in the company. It’s no one else’s business how or why they’re applied.

It gets worse. Let’s say you separate from the company on bad terms, having been harassed or blocked from advancing or doing your job, or because you were the wrong age, sex or race, or just weren’t sufficiently docile. If you take it upstairs, file a grievance, or hire a lawyer, eventually you may be offered a sum to settle the matter. In return, you must agree not to disclose terms of settlement or publicly allege abuse or misconduct. As we’ve been told, whatever Ailes, O’Reilly, and Weinstein affairs were “resolved” involved no admissions of culpability and gagging and binding the plaintiffs. Impervious to decency, justice, or shame, they have you by the gonads. Proving that you were wronged and then obtaining justice is a long, agonizing, and expensive process. Most people have better things to do with their time and money, something employers bank on.

Depending on where you work and what you do, it can get much, much worse. If you work for the federal government directly, as a contractor or an employee thereof, as a condition of employment you may be asked to sign a secrecy agreement, an offer you can’t refuse and an oath you cannot later renege. Such paper handcuffs first flowered in the idyllic 1950s, that post-war paradise of Leave-It-to-Beaver families in spanking new suburbs and lifetime jobs in unionized workplaces. To forestall leaks, spy agencies exacted them from employees who knew or might know state secrets. The higher the classification of content involved, the more draconian were the potential consequences for disclosure. The chances of leaks from today’s vast assemblages of classified materials in networked environments have multiplied manifold since then. Among other things, this implies a need to swear to secrecy any employee within two or three degrees of separation from someone who handles classified documents, such as the IT geeks and the receptionist.

Secrecy agreements are confidentiality agreements on steroids. Ironclad. Undoable. Not availing of congressional or judicial redress. And should you pester an I.G. with documentation of the organization’s illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities, any evidence you present on your behalf is likely to vanish from public scrutiny forever. It’s all set up so you can’t refuse and they can never lose. Item 8 of the standard Federal secrecy agreement (Standard Form 312; there are others) states “Unless and until I am released in writing by an authorized representative of the United States Government, I understand that all conditions and obligations imposed upon me by this Agreement apply during the time I am granted access to classified information, and at all times thereafter.” (emphasis added). It also advises “nothing in this Agreement constitutes a waiver by the United States of the right to prosecute me for any statutory violation.”

The statutes cited are sections 641, 793, 794, 798, 952 and 1924, title 18, United States Code; the provisions of section 783(b}, title 50, United States Code; and the provisions of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. Also noted is section 4(b) of the infamous Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 (the McCarran Act), which has ruined many lives. After Harry Truman vetoed it (calling it “the greatest danger to freedom of speech, press, and assembly since the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798,” a “mockery of the Bill of Rights” and a “long step toward totalitarianism,”) Congress overrode the veto 286-48 and 57-10. Where were all the other lawmakers that fine September day, one might ask? Burning their ACLU membership cards?

* * *

By now, hundreds of thousands if not millions of workers have been coercively bound by secrecy agreements. Artfully, from Allen Dulles on, the capos and consiglieres of the security state insinuated their racket into military and civilian agencies and critical contractors, salting their ranks with spooks. Expanding their territory, of course, multiplied the number of workers privy to their operations. Given that any of these people might be inclined or induced to reveal mob activities, how to silence them? Simple; bind their lips as soon as they get involved with secrecy agreements. If any balk at that, use subtle means of persuasion like reassigning them to the boondocks, skipping them over for promotion, or threatening to have their heads examined.

Former high-ranking CIA analyst and covert operative Kevin Shipp came forward in 2010 with details on the shadow government of the deep state that intelligence agencies control, and how they manage to control Congress as well. A summary of Shipp’s recent presentation at a Geoengineering Watch assembly in ZeroHedge states:

… that there are “over 10,000 secret sites in the U.S.” that formed after 9/11. There are “1,271 secret government agencies, 1,931 large private corporations [involved with the spy agencies] and over 4,800,000 Americans that he knows of who have a secrecy clearance, and 854,000 who have Top Secret clearance, explaining they signed their lives away bound by an agreement.

The video of Shipp’s talk is an hour long, but worth watching.

What turned Shipp into a transparency activist, of all things, was toxic mold in a house the CIA put him and his family into while on assignment at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot near San Antonio. As detailed in a 2011 NYT story, the Shippses got sick and filed a wrongful harm lawsuit against the Agency that they predictably lost, and not long afterward he was drummed out after 25 years a spook. Shipp claims that his phone and house continue to be bugged and he is constantly followed when driving. (Incidentally, the only other NYT story to mention Mr. Shipp came in 2014. It identified Camp Stanley as a major CIA weapons depot that had supplied arms and ammunition for the Bay of Pigs and other CIA terrorist operations. More recently, it said, “the Army sought to purchase two million rounds of ammunition of the caliber that fits AK-47 rifles, which American soldiers do not use. The delivery address: Camp Stanley.”). The Times doesn’t seem interested in covering what Shipp has been saying about his former employer more recently. Some news is not fit to print.

* * *

One would think that out of all the ears and eyeballs privy to dicey classified programs more lips might loosen. But any insider bent on exposing misdeeds will soon find out that whistleblower protections are a farce; complaining about illegal activities to elected representatives or an I.G. can lead to harassment that can last for the rest of one’s life. In whistleblower lawsuits, the government can invoke the non-statutory State Secrets Privilege (I would call it the Secret State Privilege) to exclude evidence or dismiss the complaint entirely, and has done so about once a year since 1953. For more ugly details about how the Secret State silences whistleblowers, see Shipp’s communique to Geoengineering Watch two years ago.

As a further deterrent to truth-telling, Obama’s 2011 Executive order 13587 tasked all Federal agencies and associated contractors with implementing Insider Threat Programs (ITP) to identify, monitor, and profile potential leakers of secret information. TechDirt reported that when Senator Chuck Grassley asked the head of the ITP whether the program protects whistleblowers, he was assured that it does; to avoid being swept up, they simply need to “register” before blowing. I can hear it now: “Oh sure, Mr. Snowden, go right ahead. We’re sure you mean no harm.”

The Secret State (or as Shipp calls it, the Shadow Government) takes such extreme precautions because it needs its activities to remain invisible and deniable. Of course, this is what rulers and regimes have done since time immemorial. And to do this effectively requires a vast panopticon to oversee its minions and identify potential troublemakers; secret police, basically, such as the USSR’s KGB, East Germany’s Stasi, Turkey’s MIT, Syria’s GID, and so on. It’s simply the price of doing business as a cloaked agency. All this surveillance is costly, but the good news is you get more bang for your security buck nowadays. Thanks to the technology of illicit eavesdropping and cooperative agreements with the likes of AT&T and Google, the Internet and mobile networks make this ambitious task a piece of cake.

Aesop said “a man is known by the company he keeps.” CIA people call their agency The Company. Twelve US Presidents have not only kept it, they have allowed it to metastasize into a hideous monstrosity rampaging out of control. Of them, only John F. Kennedy threatened to dismantle it, and look what happened to him.

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 2 Comments

How Syrian-Nuke Evidence Was Faked

By Gareth Porter | Consortium News | November 19, 2017

When Yousry Abushady studied the highly unusual May 2008 CIA video on a Syrian nuclear reactor that was allegedly under construction when an Israeli jet destroyed it seven months earlier, the senior specialist on North Korean nuclear reactors on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s staff knew that something was very wrong.

Abushady quickly determined that the CIA had been seriously misled by Israeli intelligence and immediately informed the two highest officials of the Vienna-based IAEA, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Deputy Director for Safeguards, Olli Heinonen, that the CIA’s conclusions were not consistent with the most basic technical requirements for such a reactor.

But it did not take long for Abushady to realize that the top IAEA officials were not interested in drawing on his expertise in regard to the alleged Syrian reactor. In fact, the IAEA cited nonexistent evidence linking the site to a Syrian nuclear program while covering up real evidence that would have clearly refuted such a claim, according to Abushady and other former senior IAEA officials.

When Abudhsady met with Heinonen to discuss his analysis of the CIA’s case in May 2008, Abushady asked to be included on the team for the anticipated inspection of the al-Kibar site because of his unique knowledge of that type reactor.

But Heinonen refused his request, citing an unwritten IAEA rule that inspectors are not allowed to carry out inspections in their countries of origin. Abushady objected, pointing out that he is Egyptian, not Syrian, to which Heinonen responded, “But you are an Arab and a Muslim!” according to Abushady.

Heinonen has declined a request for his comment on Abushady’s account of the conversation.

A Curious Inspection

In June 2008, an IAEA team consisting of Heinonen and two other inspectors took environmental samples at the al-Kibar site. In November 2008, the IAEA issued a report saying that laboratory analysis of a number of natural uranium particles collected at the site “indicates that the uranium is anthropogenic,” meaning that it had been processed by humans.

The implication was clearly that this was a reason to believe that the site had been connected with a nuclear program. But former IAEA officials have raised serious questions about Heinonen’s handling of the physical evidence gathered from the Syrian site as well as his characterization of the evidence in that and other IAEA reports.

Tariq Rauf who headed the IAEA’s Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office until 2011, has pointed out that one of the IAEA protocols applicable to these environmental samples is that “the results from all three or four labs to have analyzed the sample must match to give a positive or negative finding on the presence and isotopics or uranium and/or plutonium.”

However, in the Syrian case the laboratories to which the samples had been sent had found no evidence of such man-made uranium in the samples they had tested. ElBaradei himself had announced in late September, three months after the samples had originally been taken but weeks before the report was issued, “So far, we have found no indication of any nuclear material.” So the November 2008 IAEA report claiming a positive finding was not consistent with its protocols.

But the samples had been sent to yet another laboratory, which had come up with a positive test result for a sample, which had then been touted as evidence that the site had held a nuclear reactor. That in itself is an indication that a fundamental IAEA protocol had been violated in the handling of the samples from Syria.

One of the inspectors involved in the IAEA inspection at al-Kibar later revealed to a fellow IAEA inspector what actually happened in the sample collection there. Former senior IAEA inspector Robert Kelley recalled in an interview that, after the last results of the samples from the al-Kibar inspection had come back from all the laboratories, the inspector, Mongolian national Orlokh Dorjkhaidav, came to see him because he was troubled by the results and wanted to tell someone he trusted.

Negative Results

Dorjkhaidav told Kelley that all the samples taken from the ground in the vicinity of the bombed building had tested negative for man-made uranium and that the only sample that had tested positive had been taken in the toilet of the support building.

Dorjkhaidav later left the IAEA and returned to Mongolia, where he died in December 2015. A video obituary for Dorjkhaidav confirmed his participation in the inspection in Syria. Kelley revealed the former inspector’s account to this writer only after Dorjkhaidav’s death.

In an e-mail response to a request for his comment on Kelley’s account of the Syrian environmental samples, Heinonen would neither confirm nor deny that the swipe sample described by Dorjkhaidav had been taken inside the support building. But in January 2013, David Albright, Director of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C., who has co-authored several articles with Heinonen, acknowledged in a commentary on his think tank’s website that the al-Kibar uranium particles had been “found in a changing room in a building associated with the reactor.”

Given the dispersal of any nuclear material around the site by the Israeli bombing, if man-made uranium was present at the site, it should not have shown up only inside the support facility but should have been present in the samples taken from the ground outside.

Former IAEA senior inspector Kelley said in an e-mail that a “very likely explanation” for this anomaly is that it was a case of “cross contamination’ from the inspector’s own clothing. Such cross contamination had occurred in IAEA inspections on a number of occasions, according to both Kelley and Rauf.

Kelley, who had been in charge of inspections in Iraq in the early 1990s, recalled that a set of environmental swipes taken from nuclear facilities that the United States had bombed in Iraq had appeared to show that that Iraq had enriched uranium to 90 percent. But it turned out that they had been taken with swipe paper that had been contaminated accidentally by particles from the IAEA laboratory.

But what bothered Abushady the most was that the IAEA report on Syria had remained silent on the crucial fact that none of the sample results had shown any trace of nuclear-grade graphite.

Abushady recalled that when he challenged Heinonen on the absence of any mention of the nuclear graphite issue in the draft report in a Nov. 13, 2008 meeting, Heinonen said the inspectors had found evidence of graphite but added, “We haven’t confirmed that it was nuclear-grade.”

Abushady retorted, “Do you know what nuclear-grade graphite is? If you found it you would know it immediately.”

Heinonen was invited to comment on Abushady’s account of that meeting for this article but declined to do so.

After learning that the report scheduled to be released in November would be silent on the absence of nuclear graphite, Abushady sent a letter to ElBaradei asking him not to release the report on Syria as it was currently written. Abushady protested the report’s presentation of the environmental sampling results, especially in regard to nuclear-grade graphite.

“In my technical view,” Abushady wrote, “these results are the basis to confirm the contrary, that the site cannot [have been] actually a nuclear reactor.”

But the report was published anyway, and a few days later, ElBaradei’s Special Assistant Graham Andrew responded to Abushady’s message by ordering him to “stop sending e-mails on this subject” and to “respect established lines of responsibility, management and communication.”

A Clear Message

The message was clear: the agency was not interested in his information despite the fact that he knew more about the issue than anyone else in the organization.

At a briefing for Member States on the Syria reactor issue on Feb. 26, 2009, the Egyptian representative to the IAEA confronted Heinonen on the absence of nuclear-grade graphite in the environmental samples. This time, Heinonen had a different explanation for the failure to find any such graphite. He responded that it was “not known whether the graphite was in the building at the time of the destruction,” according to the diplomatic cable reporting on the briefing that was later released by WikiLeaks.

But that response, too, was disingenuous, according to Abushady. “Graphite is a structural part of the reactor core in the gas-cooled reactor,” he explained. “It is not something you add at the end.”

The IAEA remained silent on the question of graphite in nine more reports issued over more than two years. When the IAEA finally mentioned the issue for the first time officially in a May 2011 report, it claimed that the graphite particles were “too small to permit an analysis of the purity compared to that normally required for use in a reactor.”

But American nuclear engineer Behrad Nakhai, who worked at Oak National Laboratories for many years, said in an interview that the laboratories definitely have the ability to determine whether the particles were nuclear grade or not, so the claim “doesn’t make sense.”

News outlets have never reported on the IAEA’s role in helping to cover up the false CIA claim of a North-Korean-style nuclear reactor in the desert by a misleading portrayal of the physical evidence collected in Syria and suppressing the evidence that would have made that role clear.

Heinonen, who was directly responsible for the IAEA’s role in the Syria cover-up, left the IAEA in August 2010 and within a month was given a position at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He has continued to take positions on the Iran nuclear negotiations that were indistinguishable from those of the Netanyahu government. And he is now senior adviser on science and non-proliferation at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank whose positions on the Iran nuclear issues have closely followed those of the Likud governments in Israel.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian on U.S. national security policy and the recipient of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. His most recent book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, published in 2014.

[For a previous segment of this two-part series, see https://consortiumnews.com/2017/11/18/israels-ploy-selling-a-syrian-nuke-strike/]

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike

By Gareth Porter | Consortium News | November 18, 2017

In September 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a building in eastern Syria that the Israelis claimed held a covert nuclear reactor that had been built with North Korean assistance. Seven months later, the CIA released an extraordinary 11-minute video and mounted press and Congressional briefings that supported that claim.

Supposed Syrian nuclear site before and after Israeli airstrike

But nothing about that alleged reactor in the Syrian desert turns out to be what it appeared at the time. The evidence now available shows that there was no such nuclear reactor, and that the Israelis had misled George W. Bush’s administration into believing that it was in order to draw the United States into bombing missile storage sites in Syria. Other evidence now suggests, moreover, that the Syrian government had led the Israelis to believe wrongly that it was a key storage site for Hezbollah missiles and rockets.

The International Atomic Agency’s top specialist on North Korean reactors, Egyptian national Yousry Abushady, warned top IAEA officials in 2008 that the published CIA claims about the alleged reactor in the Syrian desert could not possibly have been true. In a series of interviews in Vienna and by phone and e-mail exchanges over several months Abushady detailed the technical evidence that led him to issue that warning and to be even more confident about that judgment later on. And a retired nuclear engineer and research scientist with many years of experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed a crucial element of that technical evidence.

Published revelations by senior Bush administration officials show, moreover, that principal U.S. figures in the story all had their own political motives for supporting the Israeli claim of a Syrian reactor being built with North Korean help.

Vice President Dick Cheney hoped to use the alleged reactor to get President George W. Bush to initiate U.S. airstrikes in Syria in the hope of shaking the Syrian-Iranian alliance. And both Cheney and then CIA Director Michael Hayden also hoped to use the story of a North Korean-built nuclear reactor in Syria to kill a deal that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was negotiating with North Korea on its nuclear weapons program in 2007-08.

Mossad Chief’s Dramatic Evidence

In April 2007 the chief of Israel’s Mossad foreign intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, presented Cheney, Hayden and National Security Adviser Steven Hadley with evidence of what he said was a nuclear reactor being constructed in eastern Syria with the help of the North Koreans. Dagan showed them nearly a hundred hand-held photographs of the site revealing what he described as the preparation for the installation of a North Korean reactor and claimed that it was only a few months from being operational.

The Israelis made no secret of their desire to have a U.S. airstrike destroy the alleged nuclear facility. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called President Bush immediately after that briefing and said, “George, I’m asking you to bomb the compound,” according to the account in Bush’s memoirs.

Cheney, who was known to be a personal friend of Olmert, wanted to go further. At White House meetings in subsequent weeks, Cheney argued forcefully for a U.S. attack not only on the purported reactor building but on Hezbollah weapons storage depots in Syria. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who participated in those meetings, recalled in his own memoirs that Cheney, who was also looking for an opportunity to provoke a war with Iran, hoped to “rattle Assad sufficiently so as to end his close relationship with Iran” and “send a powerful warning to the Iranians to abandon their nuclear ambitions.”

CIA Director Hayden aligned the agency clearly with Cheney on the issue, not because of Syria or Iran but because of North Korea. In his book, Playing to the Edge, published last year, Hayden recalls that, at a White House meeting to brief President Bush the day after Dagan’s visit, he whispered in Cheney’s ear, “You were right, Mr. Vice-President.”

Hayden was referring to the fierce political struggle within the Bush administration over North Korea policy that had been underway ever since Condoleezza Rice had become Secretary of State in early 2005. Rice had argued that diplomacy was the only realistic way to get Pyongyang to retreat from its nuclear weapons program. But Cheney and his administration allies John Bolton and Robert Joseph (who succeeded Bolton as the key State Department policymaker on North Korea after Bolton became U.N. Ambassador in 2005) were determined to end the diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.

Cheney was still maneuvering to find a way to prevent the successful completion of the negotiations, and he saw the story of a Syrian nuclear reactor built secretly in the desert with help from the North Koreans as bolstering his case. Cheney reveals in his own memoirs that in January 2008, he sought to sandbag Rice’s North Korea nuclear deal by getting her to agree that a failure by North Korea to “admit they’ve proliferating to the Syrians would be a deal killer.”

Three months later, the CIA released its unprecedented 11-minute video supporting the entire Israeli case for a North-Korean-style nuclear reactor that was nearly completed. Hayden recalls that his decision to release the video on the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor in April 2008 was “to avoid a North Korean nuclear deal being sold to a Congress and a public ignorant of this very pertinent and very recent episode.”

The video, complete with computer reconstructions of the building and photographs from the Israelis made a big splash in the news media. But one specialist on nuclear reactors who examined the video closely found abundant reason to conclude that the CIA’s case was not based on real evidence.

Technical Evidence against a Reactor

Egyptian national Yousry Abushady was a PhD in nuclear engineering and 23-year veteran of the IAEA who had been promoted to section head for Western Europe in the operations division of agency’s Safeguards Department, meaning that he was in charge of all inspections of nuclear facilities in the region. He had been a trusted adviser to Bruno Pellaud, IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards from 1993 to 1999, who told this writer in an interview that he had “relied on Abushady frequently.”

Abushady recalled in an interview that, after spending many hours reviewing the video released by the CIA in April 2008 frame by frame, he was certain that the CIA case for a nuclear reactor at al-Kibar in the desert in eastern Syria was not plausible for multiple technical reasons. The Israelis and the CIA had claimed the alleged reactor was modeled on the type of reactor the North Koreans had installed at Yongbyon called a gas-cooled graphite-moderated (GCGM) reactor.

But Abushady knew that kind of reactor better than anyone else at the IAEA. He had designed a GCGM reactor for his doctoral student in nuclear engineering, had begun evaluating the Yongbyon reactor in 1993, and from 1999 to 2003 had headed the Safeguards Department unit responsible for North Korea.

Abushady had traveled to North Korea 15 times and conducted extensive technical discussions with the North Korean nuclear engineers who had designed and operated the Yongbyon reactor. And the evidence he saw in the video convinced him that no such reactor could have been under construction at al-Kibar.

On April 26, 2008, Abushady sent a “preliminary technical assessment” of the video to IAEA Deputy Director General for Safeguards Olli Heinonen, with a copy to Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Abushady observed in his memorandum that the person responsible for assembling the CIA video was obviously unfamiliar with either the North Korean reactor or with GCGM reactors in general.

The first thing that struck Abushady about the CIA’s claims was that the building was too short to hold a reactor like the one in Yongbyon, North Korea.

“It is obvious,” he wrote in his “technical assessment” memo to Heinonen, “that the Syrian building with no UG [underground] construction, can not hold a [reactor] similar [to] NK GCR [North Korean gas-cooled reactor].”
Abushady estimated the height of the North Korean reactor building in Yongbyon at a 50 meters (165 feet) and estimated that the building at al-Kibar at a little more than a third as tall.

Abushady also found the observable characteristics of the al-Kibar site inconsistent with the most basic technical requirements for a GCGM reactor. He pointed out that the Yongbyon reactor had no less than 20 supporting buildings on the site, whereas the satellite imagery shows that the Syrian site did not have a single significant supporting structure.

The most telling indication of all for Abushady that the building could not have been a GCGM reactor was the absence of a cooling tower to reduce the temperature of the carbon dioxide gas coolant in such a reactor.
“How can you work a gas-cooled reactor in a desert without a cooling tower?” Abushady asked in an interview.

IAEA Deputy Director Heinonen claimed in an IAEA report that the site had sufficient pumping power to get river water from a pump house on the nearby Euphrates River to the site. But Abushady recalls asking Heinonen, “How could this water be transferred for about 1,000 meters and continue to the heat exchangers for cooling with the same power?”

Robert Kelley, a former head of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory and former senior IAEA inspector in Iraq, noticed another fundamental problem with Heinonen’s claim: the site had no facility for treating the river water before it reached the alleged reactor building.

“That river water would have been carrying debris and silt into the reactor heat exchangers,” Kelley said in an interview, making it highly questionable that a reactor could have operated there.

Yet another critical piece that Abushady found missing from the site was a cooling pond facility for spent fuel. The CIA had theorized that the reactor building itself contained a “spent fuel pond,” based on nothing more than an ambiguous shape in an aerial photograph of the bombed building.

But the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon and all 28 other GCGM reactors that had been built in the world all have the spent fuel pond in a separate building, Abushady said. The reason, he explained, was that the magnox cladding surrounding the fuel rods would react to any contact with moisture to produce hydrogen that could explode.

But the definitive and irrefutable proof that no GCGM reactor had been present at al-Kibar came from the environmental samples taken by the IAEA at the site in June 2008. Such a reactor would have contained nuclear-grade graphite, Abushady explained, and if the Israelis had actually bombed a GCGM reactor, it would have spread particles of nuclear-grade graphite all over the site.

Behrad Nakhai, a nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for many years, confirmed Abshuady’s observation in an interview. “You would have had hundreds of tons of nuclear-grade graphite scattered around the site,” he said, “and it would have been impossible to clean it up.”

IAEA reports remained silent for more than two years about what the samples showed about nuclear-grade graphite, then claimed in a May 2011 report that the graphite particles were “too small to permit an analysis of the purity compared to that normally required for use in a reactor.” But given the tools available to laboratories, the IAEA claim that they couldn’t determine whether the particles were nuclear grade or not “doesn’t make sense,” Nakhai said.

Hayden acknowledged in his 2016 account that “key components” of a nuclear reactor site for nuclear weapons were “still missing.” The CIA had tried to find evidence of a reprocessing facility in Syria that could be used to obtain the plutonium for a nuclear bomb but had been unable to find any trace of one.

The CIA also had found no evidence of a fuel fabrication facility, without which a reactor could not have gotten the fuel rods to be reprocessed. Syria could not have gotten them from North Korea, because the fuel fabrication plant at Yongbyon had produced no fuel rods since 1994 and was known to have fallen into serious disrepair after the regime had agreed to scrap its own plutonium reactor program.

Manipulated and Misleading Photographs

Hayden’s account shows that he was ready to give the CIA’s stamp of approval to the Israeli photographs even before the agency’s analysts had even begun analyzing them. He admits that when he met Dagan face-to-face he didn’t ask how and when Mossad had obtained the photographs, citing “espionage protocol” among cooperating intelligence partners. Such a protocol would hardly apply, however, to a government sharing intelligence in order to get the United States to carry out an act of war on its behalf.

The CIA video relied heavily on the photographs that Mossad had given to Bush administration in making its case. Hayden writes that it was “pretty convincing stuff, if we could be confident that the pictures hadn’t been altered.”

But by his own account Hayden knew Mossad had engaged in at least one deception. He writes that when CIA experts reviewed the photographs from Mossad, they found that one of them had been photo-shopped to remove the writing on the side of a truck.

Hayden professes to have had no concern about that photo-shopped picture. But after this writer asked how CIA analysts interpreted Mossad’s photo shopping of the picture as one of the questions his staff requested in advance of a possible interview with Hayden, he declined the interview.

Abushady points out that the main issues with the photographs the CIA released publicly are whether they were actually taken at the al-Kibar site and whether they were consistent with a GCGM reactor. One of the photographs showed what the CIA video called “the steel liner for the reinforced-concrete reactor vessel before it was installed.” Abushady noticed immediately, however, that nothing in the picture links the steel liner to the al-Kibar site.

Both the video and CIA’s press briefing explained that the network of small pipes on the outside of the structure was for “cooling water to protect the concrete against the reactor’s intense heat and radiation.”
But Abushady, who specializes in such technology, pointed out that the structure in the picture bore no resemblance to a Gas-Cooled Reactor vessel. “This vessel cannot be for a Gas-Cooled Reactor,” Abushady explained, “based on its dimensions, it thickness and the pipes shown on the side of the vessel.”

The CIA video’s explanation that the network of pipes was necessary for “cooling water” made no sense, Abushady said, because gas-cooled reactors use only carbon dioxide gas — not water — as a coolant. Any contact between water and the Magnox-cladding used in that type of reactor, Abushady explained, could cause an explosion.

A second Mossad photograph showed what the CIA said were the “exit points” for the reactor’s control rods and fuel rods. The CIA juxtaposed that photograph with a photograph of the tops of the control rods and fuel rods of the North Korean reactor at Yongbyon and claimed a “very close resemblance” between the two.

Abushady found major differences between the two pictures, however. The North Korean reactor had a total of 97 ports, but the picture allegedly taken at al-Kibar shows only 52 ports. Abushady was certain that the reactor shown in the photograph could not have been based on the Yongbyon reactor. He also noted that the picture had a pronounced sepia tone, suggesting that it was taken quite a few years earlier.
Abushady warned Heinonen and ElBaradei in his initial assessment that the photo presented as taken from inside the reactor building appeared to an old photo of a small gas-cooled reactor, most likely an early such reactor built in the U.K.

A Double Deception

Many observers have suggested that Syria’s failure to protest the strike in the desert loudly suggests that it was indeed a reactor. Information provided by a former Syrian air force major who defected to an anti-Assad military command in Aleppo and by the head of Syria’s atomic energy program helps unlock the mystery of what was really in the building at al-Kibar.

The Syrian major, “Abu Mohammed,” told The Guardian in February 2013 that he was serving in the air defense station at Deir Azzor, the city nearest to al-Kibar, when he got a phone call from a Brigadier General at the Strategic Air Command in Damascus just after midnight on Sept. 6, 2007. Enemy planes were approaching his area, the general said, but “you are to do nothing.”

The major was confused. He wondered why the Syrian command would want to let Israeli fighter planes approach Deir Azzor unhindered. The only logical reason for such an otherwise inexplicable order would be that, instead of wanting to keep the Israelis away from the building at al-Kibar, the Syrian government actually wanted the Israelis to attack it. In the aftermath of the strike, the Damascus issued only an opaque statement claiming that the Israeli jets had been driven away and remaining silent on the airstrike at al-Kibar.

Abushady told this writer he learned from meetings with Syrian officials during his final year at the IAEA that the Syrian government had indeed originally built the structure at al-Kibar for the storage of missiles as well as for a fixed firing position for them. And he said Ibrahim Othman, the head of Syria’s Atomic Energy Commission, had confirmed that point in a private meeting with him in Vienna in September 2015.

Othman also confirmed Abushady’s suspicion from viewing satellite photographs that the roof over the central room in the building had been made with two movable light plates that could be opened to allow the firing of a missile. And he told Abushady that he had been correct in believing that what had appeared in a satellite image immediately after the bombing to be two semi-circular shapes was what had remained of the original concrete launching silo for missiles.

In the wake of the Israel’s 2006 invasion of Southern Lebanon, the Israelis were searching intensively for Hezbollah missiles and rockets that could reach Israel and they believed many of those Hezbollah weapons were being stored in Syria. If they wished to draw the attention of the Israelis away from actual missile storage sites, the Syrians would have had good reason to want to convince the Israelis that this was one of their major storage sites.

Othman told Abushady that the building had been abandoned in 2002, after the construction had been completed. The Israelis had acquired ground-level pictures from 2001-02 showing the construction of outer walls that would hide the central hall of the building. The Israelis and the CIA both insisted in 2007-08 that this new construction indicated that it had to be a reactor building, but it is equally consistent with a building designed to hide missile storage and a missile-firing position.

Although Mossad went to great lengths to convince the Bush administration that the site was a nuclear reactor, what the Israelis really wanted was for the Bush administration to launch U.S. airstrikes against Hezbollah and Syrian missile storage sites. Senior officials of the Bush administration didn’t buy the Israeli bid to get the United States to do the bombing, but none of them ever raised questions about the Israeli ruse.

So both the Assad regime and the Israeli government appear to have succeeded in carrying out their own parts in a double deception in the Syrian desert.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian on U.S. national security policy and the recipient of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guardian, NYT Paint Power-Grabbing Saudi Dictator as Roguish, Visionary ‘Reformer’

By Adam Johnson | FAIR | November 17, 2017

Guardian: Saudi arrests show crown prince is a risk-taker with a zeal for reform

The Guardian (11/5/17)

Two weeks ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman carried out a brutal crackdown on his political opponents, arresting dozens of high-ranking relatives, kidnapping the prime minister of Lebanon, and seeing eight of his political rivals die in a convenient helicopter crash. The “consolidation of power” by the de facto Saudi ruler comes as his government ramps up its siege of Yemen and gets even closer to its US sponsor, thanks to a Trump’s dopey love affair with—and direct assistance of—the regime.

The cynical plan has been met, in some media quarters, with condemnation, but for many in the Western press, Mohammed’s self-serving power grab is the action of a bold “reformer,” a roguish bad boy doing the messy but essential work of “reforming” the kingdom—the “anti-corruption” pretext of the purge largely repeated without qualification. The most prominent sources for this spin were two major newspapers, the New York Times and Guardian:

  • Guardian (11/5/17): “Royal Purge Sends Shockwaves Through Saudi Arabia’s Elites: Move Consolidates Power of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as He Attempts to Reform Kingdom’s Economy and Society”
  • Guardian (11/5/17) : “Saudi Arrests Show Crown Prince Is a Risk-Taker With a Zeal for Reform: Mohammed Bin Salman Is Confronting Some of the Kingdom’s Richest and Most Powerful Men in His Anti-Corruption Drive—but Is He Taking on Too Much Too Fast?
  • Guardian (11/6/17): “Oil Price Rises to Two-Year High After Saudi Arabia Purge: Markets Push Price Up to $62 a Barrel After Anti-Corruption Purge by Billionaire Crown Prince Who Backs Prolonging Oil Production Curbs”
  • Guardian  (11/7/17): “‘This Is a Revolution’: Saudis Absorb Crown Prince’s Rush to Reform: Consolidation of Power in Mohammed Bin Salman’s Hands Has Upended All Aspects of Society, Including Previously Untouchable Ultra-Elite
  • New York Times (11/5/17): “Saudi Crown Prince’s Mass Purge Upends a Longstanding System”
  • New York Times (11/14/17): “The Upstart Saudi Prince Who’s Throwing Caution to the Wind”

While the text of the Times articles was far more skeptical about Mohammed’s motives, the Guardian’s (11/5/17) initial coverage of the bloody purge—not just the headlines—was written in breathless press release tones:

Saudi Arabia’s leadership has pulled off its boldest move yet to consolidate power around its young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, arresting 11 senior princes, one of the country’s richest men and scores of former ministers in what it billed as a corruption purge.

The move sidelined at least 20 senior figures, among them outspoken billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, sending shockwaves through the ranks of the kingdom’s elites, who had long viewed senior royals as immune.

Lots of glowing prose to unpack here. Longtime Mideast correspondent Martin Chulov began by referring to “Saudi Arabia’s leadership,” which is a nice, sterile way of referencing the country’s unelected hereditary king and crown prince. Then he pivoted into marketing pablum about “bold moves” and “consolidating power,” before unironically framing the purge as an “anti-corruption” gesture designed to stick it to the “kingdom’s elites.” One could come away from reading this lead with the impression that the billionaire aristocrat was a populist folk hero in the vein of Robin Hood or John Dillinger. The thrilling profile continued:

Prince Mohammed will oversee the corruption commission, adding to his already formidable list of responsibilities, including his role as Defense minister and champion of the economic transformation, dubbed Vision 2030, that aims to revolutionize most aspects of Saudi life within 12 years.

Prince Mohammed told the Guardian last month that the kingdom had been “not normal” for the past 30 years and pledged to return Saudi Arabia to moderate Islam.

While the author had a “to be sure” paragraph, citing “others” calling it a “naked attempt to weed out dissent,” the overall thrust of the article was that a roguish billionaire Boy King was earnestly seeking “reform” and opposing “elites.”

A follow-up piece (11/7/17) took flattering coverage to new extremes. The dispatch, again by Chulov, cited nothing but anonymous Saudi court hanger-ons and a Gulf-funded talking head from the NATO-aligned Atlantic Council think tank. The article, “‘This Is a Revolution’: Saudis Absorb Crown Prince’s Rush to Reform,” was populated with blind quotes from such adversarial voices as a “senior minister,” “a senior Saudi official,” a “senior figure,” a “senior Saudi businessman” and “veteran business leaders.” (Evidently no junior officials or rookie business leaders were available for comment.)

The article painted the “consolidation of power” by Mohammed as an inevitability with broad support—using the dubious “reform” narrative without irony. With Guardian editors again painting Mohammed as a populist hero by insisting he “upended” “previously untouchable ultra-elite,” one is left to wonder why they don’t consider the absolute-monarch-in-waiting—who just bought a $590 million yacht—part of the “ultra elite.” It’s a curious framing that reeks more of PR than journalism.

NYT: The Young and Brash Saudi Crown Prince

The New York Times (6/23/17) 

This was a trope one could see emerging over the past few months. Similar “bold reformer” frames were used in New York Times editorials (“The Young and Brash Saudi Crown Prince,” 6/23/17) and straight reporting (“Saudi Arabia’s Grand Plan to Move Beyond Oil: Big Goals, Bigger Hurdles,” 10/24/17). Everything’s new and exciting. The brutal, routine functions of the Saudi state are seen as laws of nature—and those in charge of it are the reformers of the very oppression they initially authored.

A Guardian editorial on November 7 was critical of the government, calling it “regressive” and Mohammed “belligerent,” but ultimately rested on “both sides” framing of recent events. The only meaningfully critical coverage of Saudi Arabia coming from the Guardian since the purge has been in two articles (11/12/17, 11/16/17), both in the context of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen. Neither mentioned bin Salman, and both stressed how the Saudis are responding in earnest to international pleas to stop their mass-murdering blockade of the Arab world’s poorest country.

Per usual, the Guardian reserves the label “regime” for Official Enemies like Syria and North Korea; Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a regime, it has “leadership.” Unlike adversary governments, often seen in need of “regime change,” the Saudi government merely requires “reform”—and a bold new “reformer,” of the sort championed by the likes of the Guardian and New York Times.


You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com , and to the Guardian at guardian.letters@theguardian.com (Twitter@NYTimes, @Guardian). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Security Council-appointed panel says no missiles sent to Houthis, refuting Saudi Arabia claim

Press TV – November 18, 2017

A United Nations Security Council-appointed panel has said in a confidential memo that it has seen no evidence to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that missiles have been transferred to Yemen’s Houthis fighters by external sources.

The panel made the conclusion in a confidential assessment sent to Security Council diplomats on November 10, The Intercept, a US-based investigative website, reported on Friday.

On November 4, a missile attack from Yemen targeted the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) near the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It was the first missile from Yemen to have reached deep inside Saudi territory.

The Houthi movement, which has been fighting back a Saudi-led coalition with allied Yemeni army troops and tribal fighters, said it had fired the missile, which the Saudis said they had intercepted mid-air.

However, the Riyadh regime quickly blamed the Islamic Republic for the incident.

Heating up rhetoric against Iran, and then being proven wrong

In a November 7 letter to the Security Council, Saudi UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi claimed that the debris of the missiles fired by the Houthis on July 22 and November 4 confirmed Iran’s role “in manufacturing these missiles.”

Following the attack, the Saudi-led coalition tightened a blockade that had already been imposed on Yemen in a bid to prevent “the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran” to the Houthis.

It invoked Paragraph 14 of Security Council Resolution 2216, which was passed in April 2015, calling for measures to prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of military goods to Houthi fighters.

The coalition said the missile’s firing was “a blatant act of military aggression” by the Iranian government.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said it had been “a direct military aggression” by Iran against Saudi Arabia, while Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir stressed that his country reserved the right to “respond in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time.”

The belligerent Saudi posture toward Iran worked to significantly raise tensions.

Iran rejected the allegations as “provocative and baseless,” saying Yemenis had shown an “independent” reaction to the Saudi bombing campaign on their country.

Iran also said that it could not transfer any weapons to Yemen because of the Saudi-led blockade.

The Security Council-appointed panel said in its confidential assessment that it had seen no evidence to back up the Saudi claims that short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) had been transferred to Yemeni fighters in violation of the Resolution 2216.

It said the tightening of the blockade by the Saudi-led coalition and its invoking of Resolution 2216 had been an attempt to merely “obstruct” the delivery of civilian aid.

“The panel finds that imposition of access restrictions is another attempt by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to use paragraph 14 of resolution 2216 as justification for obstructing the delivery of commodities that are essentially civilian in nature,” the assessment read.

Touching on the July 22 attack, it said, “The supporting evidence provided… is far below that required to attribute this attack to a Qiam-1 SRBM.”

Yemen has witnessed a deadly Saudi-led war since March 2015. The protracted Saudi offensive, which has been accompanied by the, land, naval, and aerial blockade on Yemen, has so far killed over 12,000 people and led to a humanitarian crisis.

The UN has listed Yemen as the world’s number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million Yemenis in need of food and a cholera epidemic causing over 2,200 deaths so far.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Secretary Mattis Is Off Base: US Military Presence in Syria Has No Legal Grounds

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.11.2017

Although the US has many times stated that its target is IS only, it appears that its intentions may go beyond the stated objective. In fact, Washington is seeking to retain post-conflict zones of influence within the country, where the American presence is illegal.

Asked at a press-conference on Nov. 13 if the US military will stay or leave Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated, “We’re not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has cracked.” He stressed the importance of the Geneva settlement process held under the auspices of the UN, saying “we got to get the UN-brokered effort in Geneva to take this thing forward.” Answering a question about the legal grounds for the US presence in the country, the secretary explained “You know, the UN said that ISIS — basically we can go after ISIS. And we’re there to take them out.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a firm warning to the US and other foreign forces in Syria on Nov. 14. According to it, “The presence of US forces or any foreign military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government constitutes an act of aggression and an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as a gross violation of the charter and principles of the United Nations.” In September, Deputy Foreign Minister of Syria Faisal Mekdad stated that the US “should withdraw its military; otherwise the Syrian army will consider them as a hostile force.”

So, the US is not going to leave and believes that its military operations in Syria do not run counter to international law. Now what about the legal grounds for maintaining the US military presence there?

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 was adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001 as a counter-terrorism measure passed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. It does not say a military intervention is allowed. No border crossing is envisaged.

Resolution 2249 adopted by the UN Security Council in November 2015 called on UN member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures” and “to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL [Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL)]” as well as other terrorist groups. However, the document emphasizes that the states are to do so in compliance with international law”. It’s important to note that the resolution in question does not give the right to intervene militarily. It does not mention Chapter VII of UN Charter, which envisages the use of force under certain conditions. The document contains no specific reference to Syria.

Resolution 2254 adopted in December 2015 says it’s up to Syrian people to decide their fate through formal talks and a unity government.

UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 on the definition of aggression explicitly states that an invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State” as well as any military occupation, however temporary” or “bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State” is what particularly constitutes aggression.

It has become increasingly difficult for the US to justify its operations in Syria under the pretext of fighting Islamic State (IS). Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has accused the US military of turning a blind eye on IS militants fleeing Syria’s Raqqa unobstructed along with their weapons and ammunition. According to him, “The escaped [IS] members will be the reason for the deaths of innocent people in every corner of the world, including Turkey, Europe, and America.” He made these comments against the background of the Russian Defense Ministry accusing the United States of “providing de-facto cover” for IS jihadists in Syria “and only pretending to fight terrorism in the Middle East.”

With legal arguments unravelling, the Defense Department’s untenable position has become noticeable, even within its own ranks. General Raymond Thomas, the Commander of US Special Operations Command, acknowledged the US presence in Syria doesn’t have a leg to stand on in terms of international law. “Here’s the conundrum,” he explained. “We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their back-stoppers, have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We’re a bad day away from the Russians saying, ‘Why are you still in Syria, US?”

The establishment of a 55-km closed zone around the US base in the area of the Syrian town of al-Tanf with humanitarian aid to refugees blocked is an example of flagrant violation of international law that should be addressed by the UN Security Council. The establishment of the base near the Syria-Jordan border was publicly justified by the need to conduct operations against Islamic State. However, no information has been received about any US operations against the group conducted from this area. To the contrary, IS has been reported to operate freely in an area abutting the base.

The largest Rukban refugee camp accommodating more than 60,000 women and children from Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor is located in the “safe zone” close to the base. The refugees appear to be used as hostages or a “human shield” to protect the American military stationed at al-Tanf. On and off, militant groups supposedly trained by Americans in the area strike Syria government forces. The more US forces are in-theater in Syria, the greater the chance of conflict between them and Syrian troops.

The United States has many times stated its target is IS only; it is not at war with the Syrian government. It appears that its intentions may go beyond the stated objective of fighting terrorism, while seeking to retain post-conflict zones of influence within the country, where the American presence is illegal. Russia, Iran, and other allied Syrian forces are in Syria legally, at the invitation of the UN-recognized state authority. The United States and its coalition partners are not. This fact is irrefutable. By no stretch of imagination could anyone find a justification for US military operations on Syrian soil.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation | , | 1 Comment

Nick Kroll’s 9/11 Propaganda Exposed by Christopher Bollyn & Adam Green

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | , | 1 Comment

US Uses ‘Mythical’ Security Threats to Deploy Patriot Systems in Poland – Moscow

Sputnik – November 16, 2107

While the US had justified the Patriot missiles’ deployment by the threat allegedly posed by Tehran prior to the Iran nuclear deal was reached, Moscow has repeatedly questioned the claim and accused NATO of building up its military presence on the borders with Russia.

The plans to deploy US Patriot systems in Poland are a part of the US strategic intention to surround Russia with missile defense systems “under the pretext of mythical threats to security”, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told Sputnik.

According to the senior diplomat, in reality the deployment of anti-missile defense network posed a threat to stability and undermined international trust “which has been lacking over the past years.”

“We have repeatedly, but, unfortunately, futilely pointed out this fact to our Western interlocutors,” Titov said.

An agreement on the deliveries of Patriot missile defense systems to Poland was signed by the Polish National Defense Ministry and the US State Department of Defense during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Warsaw in early July, with the military hardware set to be handed over to Poland by 2022.

Moscow has repeatedly said that the deployment of air defense systems near Russia’s borders undoubtedly poses a threat to the country, with Russian President Vladimir Putin reminding that the US and European officials previously linked the missile shield deployment to Iran’s nuclear program, which was no longer present due to the deal reached in 2015 with Tehran.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

PM May’s, UK Media’s Accusations Against Russia Share ‘Lack of Proof’

Sputnik – 16.11.2017

Both UK government’s accusations against Russia and UK media’s assertions share one common characteristic – lack of evidence, the Russian Embassy in London said Wednesday commenting on the UK National Cyber Security Centre head’s statement.

Earlier in the day, Ciaran Martin, the head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters’ National Cyber Security Centre, said that Russian hackers allegedly carried out a series of cyberattacks against UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year.

“We are concerned by such assertions since they mislead the British public in regard to the so called cyberattacks. We view these statements in the context of Prime Minister [Theresa] May’s ‘Banquet speech’ which described Russia as number 1 threat for UK and the world community. The said speech has already triggered an avalanche of similarly-termed articles and media reports in Britain. In our view, what they have in common is lack of proof – all assertions by British special services turn out to be classified and thus unverifiable,” the embassy wrote on its website.

The Russian diplomats urged the UK government and media to provide the evidence which served as basis for such claims.

“We would be interested in finding out the details and seeing the original findings on which the statements are based, guiding UK policies towards Russia. It would be most unfortunate to see it informed by wrong intelligence, as it was in the case of the Iraq war – when the misleading intelligence was also kept secret. Otherwise, all the accusations have the fundamental flaw of being non-transparent and biased,” the embassy said.

In a major foreign policy speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Mansion House in London late on Monday, May accused Russia of meddling in other states’ affairs, spreading “fake stories” in media, aggressive policies “to sow discord in the West” and promised to protect West’s interests if Russia continues on its current “path.”

Russia has repeatedly refuted accusations of attempts to influence election or political processes in different countries, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling the claims “absolutely groundless.” Commenting on Russia’s alleged interference in the US, French and German elections, as well as Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that there was no evidence proving the claims.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

‘The Atlantic’ Commits Malpractice, MSNBC Regurgitates Lies

By Caitlin Johnstone | Medium | November 14, 2017

Surprise, surprise, here’s Chris Hayes on MSNBC regurgitating Ioffe’s selectively edited quote on MSNBC. There will be others. There is no way to undo the damage that was done by this lie. At the end of the clip Ioffe actually asserts that her story confirms Russia-WikiLeaks collusion, without at any time acknowledging that the only thing in the story that makes it look that way is her selectively-edited quote.

If Russiagate was valid, the people selling it to us wouldn’t have to lie about it every single step of the way.


For full background read Caitlin’s full article, excerpt below:

… This happens literally every single time there’s a new “bombshell” report on the Russiagate phenomenon, without exception. Twitter explodes, I’m bombarded with social media notifications telling me “HAHAHA I BET YOU FEEL LIKE AN IDIOT NOW”, then it turns out to be a basically innocuous revelation dishonestly blown up into something explosive by liars and manipulators in the establishment media. It’s fueled entirely by Trump derangement syndrome, not by facts.

And people ask why I’m skeptical of the establishment Russia narrative. I’m skeptical because we’re being lied to every single step of the way by the news media who claim to be helping the public discover the truth. Trump lies because he’s a corrupt billionaire who knows he can get away with it, but that doesn’t make him a Russian agent. The media lies because they’re bolstering the stranglehold of America’s unelected power establishment, and that makes them traitors to our species. …

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Video | , , | Leave a comment

How the Israel Lobby Works in Britain

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 15.11.2017

The government of the United Kingdom is in a state of turmoil, mainly because it lacks authority as a result of holding an election in which the Conservative party was unexpectedly dealt a severe blow to its pride and popularity. Since then its indecision and incompetence have been complicated by scandal, of which the latest involved enforced resignations of two cabinet ministers, one because he indulged in sexual harassment, and the latest, the Overseas Aid minister, Ms Priti Patel, because she told lies to the prime minister about a visit to Israel.

Ms Patel admitted that her actions “fell below the high standards expected of a secretary of state” which was certainly the case, because she told lies; but her low standard expeditions appear to have involved some intriguing antics. It was reported that in August she went on “a secret trip to Israel with a lobbyist, during which she held 12 meetings, including one with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, without informing either [Prime Minister] May or Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary.” It is amazing that she could have imagined that British intelligence services would not report her movements and meetings in the daily brief, but this did not stop her telling the Guardian newspaper that “Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the visit to Israel]. It is not on, it is not on at all. I went out there, I paid for it, and there is nothing else to this. It is quite extraordinary. It is for the Foreign Office to go away and explain themselves.”

But it wasn’t the Foreign Office that had to explain things, because this was yet another squalid deception by a grubby little politician — for whatever reason she may have had to try to disguise her motives. Her assertion that “I went on holiday and met with people and organisations . . . It is not about who else I met, I have friends out there,” didn’t ring true, and the media discovered a whole raft of deceit.

Not only did she have a dozen meetings with “friends” in Israel, but, as revealed by the Sun newspaper, “on September 7, Ms Patel met Israeli Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan for talks in the House of Commons. Then, on September 18, she met Israel’s Foreign Ministry boss Yuval Rotem while in New York at the UN General Assembly. Ms Patel would not last night [November 6] disclose what the meetings were about. She had seen both men in Tel Aviv in August . . .”

She was accompanied on her holiday in Israel by a British peer, Lord Polak, who attended all her meetings with Israel’s best and brightest, including Prime Minister Netanyahu. And Polak went with her to New York, with his flight being paid for by the Israeli consulting firm ISHRA, which “offers a wide range of client services.” Polak was also present when she had discussions with the Israeli Minister for Public Security at the House of Commons before she went to New York.

Lord Polak

Lord Polak didn’t have far to walk to the House of Commons because he is a member of the adjacent House of Lords, Britain’s unelected upper chamber of Parliament, which is a travesty of democracy. It makes a mockery of social equality and far too many of its members are generous donors to political parties or failed politicians who have been “kicked upstairs” to well-recompensed relaxation as compensation for years of political toadying. There are 800 members of the House, making it the second-largest legislative assembly in the world, after China’s National People’s Congress (although it has to be borne in mind that China has a population of 1.3 billion as against Britain’s 65 million).

In short, the House of Lords is a farcical disgrace. But it still has much influence, because there is a great deal of money sloshing around, and there are people and political parties who control this money — like the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), an organisation that the Financial Times (FT) reports has “an estimated 80 per cent of Tory MPs as members.” And it is no coincidence that Lord Polak “spent a quarter of a century as head of the CFI . . . He quit as director in 2015 to join the House of Lords, but has remained the group’s honorary president.”

CFI is a wealthy organisation which the FT notes “has given £377,994 [495,000 US dollars] to the Conservative party since 2004, mostly in the form of fully-funded trips to Israel for MPs.” Not only that, but it gives large individual donations to Conservative members of parliament — and does anyone imagine for a moment that any politician so favoured is going to say a single word against Israel in any forum in any context?

They’ve been bought.

The CFI’s deep-pocket generosity includes holding an annual London dinner, at which last December the prime minister not only referred to Lord Polak as “the one and only Stuart Polak” but noted there were over 200 legislators present and declared she was “so pleased that the CFI has already taken 34 of the 74 Conservative MPs elected in 2015 to Israel.”

Money is the most important feature of UK-Israel relations, and May was thrilled about “our countries’ biggest-ever business deal, worth over £1 billion, when Israeli airline El Al decided to use Rolls Royce engines in its new aircraft.” It all comes down to money, and Israel, in receipt of oceans of cash from the United States, can splurge it where it wants.

Last year it was announced that the US “will give Israel $38 billion in military assistance over the next decade, the largest such aid package in US history, under a landmark agreement signed on [September 14]” which includes an annual amount of $3.3 billion in “foreign military financing.”

Britain can’t give Israel any money, as it is itself in a poor financial situation, but it tries to make up for lack of cash by unconditional political support. It doesn’t matter to Britain’s government that Israel is in violation of nearly 100 UN Security Council resolutions, almost all of them requiring its withdrawal from illegally occupied Arab lands. Don’t expect the United Kingdom to criticise the Israeli fiefdom.

The love-fest between Britain’s Conservative party and the state of Israel is not only unhealthy but suspiciously personal. There is little wonder that the British government has done its best to sweep the sordid Patel affair under the carpet, and that the intrigues of Lord Polak are being kept very quiet indeed.

Lord Polak is chair of the advisory board of TWC Associates, a “boutique consultancy specialising in the development of political strategy”, which lists among its clients several Israeli defence companies, including Elbit Systems which specialises in defence electronics.

In 2012 it was disclosed that TWC and Elbit Systems were involved in the appalling British “Generals for Hire” scandal when Elbit’s UK chairman told undercover Sunday Times reporters that TWC could gain access to government “from the prime minister down.” In this particularly revolting instance of corruption the British retired Lieutenant General Richard Applegate, then Chairman of TWC, boasted that TWC had enormous influence, through its connections with Conservative Friends of Israel. He declared that “We piggy back on something, and please don’t spread this around, to do with basically Conservative Friends of Israel… do a series of discreet engagements using advisers to gain access to particular decision makers.” Just as Ms Patel was doing in Tel Aviv and London and New York, with the shadowy but authoritative guidance of the creepy Polak.

There is a lot that is wrong in the United Kingdom at the moment, but the Israeli scandal is the most squalid pantomime yet to be revealed in the tenure of the present administration. The prime minister is desperate to conceal her government’s intimate association with Israel, and is achieving success by deflecting media attention away from the machinations of the Israeli lobby and selecting other targets. Her attack on Russia in a bizarre diatribe at a London banquet on November 13 was indicative of panic, but the headlines were obtained and the grubby Israel drama faded away into the background.

In the words of Prime Minister Theresa May on November 2, just as news of the Patel scandal was breaking, “We are proud to stand here today together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and declare our support for Israel. And we are proud of the relationship we have built with Israel.”

May and Netanyahu in London on November 2

The British public will never know what Patel, Polak and all the other agents of influence were scheming to achieve, or what fandangos they may get up to in the future, but we can be certain that the Britain-Israel alliance will continue to prosper.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , , | 3 Comments

US Cuts Funds for Disarming Explosives It Dropped on Cambodia

By Tony Cartalucci – New Eastern Outlook – 15.11.2017

In an article by Thai PBS titled, “US cuts 2018 funding for demining operations in Cambodia,” it’s revealed that next year’s meager $2 million in US government funding for demining operations of US unexploded ordnance (UXO) in eastern Cambodia leftover from the Vietnam War has been discontinued without warning or explanation.

The move caused confusion across Cambodia’s government, as well as across partner nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia participating in the US program.

Speculation over the move revolves around growing tensions between Washington and Phnom Penh as the United States desperately attempts to reassert itself in Asia Pacific, while Asian states – including Cambodia – continue to build closer and more constructive ties with Beijing at the expense of Washington’s waning influence.

Cambodia has recently exposed and ousted a myriad of US-funded fronts posing as NGOs and independent media platforms executing a campaign of US-backed political subversion. This includes the disbanding of the Cambodia National Rescue opposition party and the arrest of its leader, Kem Sokha, who bragged of his role in a US conspiracy to overthrow the Cambodian government and install him into power.

Tensions in Cambodia represent a wider, regional trend where US footholds face increasing scrutiny and resistance as Washington’s abuse of “NGOs,” “rights advocacy,” and “democracy promotion” is systematically exposed and rolled back.

Cut or Renewed, US UXO Assistance is Meaningless  

The US embassy in Cambodia would claim after receiving backlash for the move that the US had unilaterally decided to shut down funding in order to open up bidding for a new and “world-class removal program” – the details of which have yet to be confirmed or released.

The US boasts that it has spent “more than 114 million dollars” over the past 20 years to clear explosives it itself helped drop on Cambodia as part of its nearly two decades-long war in Vietnam and wider intervention in Southeast Asia – or in other words – the US has spent over 5,000 times less in 20 years on removing UXO in Cambodia than it does annually on its current military operations around the globe. In fact, a single F-35 Joint Strike Fighter warplane costs roughly the same amount of money the US has spent on demining Cambodia over the last 20 years.

There are an estimated 6 million pieces of UXO still littering Cambodia, which since the end of the Vietnam War and the rule of the Khmer Rouge have cost nearly 20,000 Cambodians their lives – with casualties still reported monthly.

Efforts that last 20 years, cost as little as a single warplane in Washington’s current arsenal, and still leave people dead or maimed monthly indicate efforts that are halfhearted – a diplomatic stunt more than sincere reparations or humanitarian concern.

Doubling Nothing is Still Nothing 

In neighboring Laos, the United States left an estimated 80 million submunitions littering the country, or about 11 for each man, woman, and child that lives there. 20,000 people have also been killed by UXO in Laos and many more have been maimed.

According to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO LAO), 444,711 submunitions (about 0.55%) have been destroyed between 1996 and 2010. Despite the dangerous and exhausting work, eliminating 0.55% of the 80 million submunitions still littering the country amounts to virtually nothing.

Despite this, the US insists that it is “dramatically” increasing its efforts. US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian would claim upon the US being criticized for its current meddling in Laos in light of the horrific UXO legacy it has left there, that:

We’ve been spending hundreds of millions of [dollars] to clean them up and [President] Obama just doubled [our] annual [contribution].

Western establishment journal, The Diplomat, in an article titled, “Obama in Laos: Cleaning up After the Secret War,” would try and explain this increased “contribution,” claiming (emphasis added):

In recent years, U.S. support for UXO clearance and victim assistance in Laos has dramatically increased. In response to steady pressure from NGOs like Legacies of War and their allies in Congress, U.S. funding for this work increased from $5 million in 2010 to a record $19.5 million this year. These resources, disbursed by the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, are used to support clearance efforts that destroy up to 100,000 pieces of lethal ordnance in Laos annually, employing 3,000 workers in the commercial and humanitarian sectors.

While the US repeatedly boasts of the “millions” that it spends to clean up a mess it itself intentionally created, at the current rate of UXO disposal in Laos alone, the country should be safe in approximately 1,000 years – or effectively – never.

When Washington’s remaining points of leverage in Asia Pacific include the threat of continued political subversion and destabilization and the cutting of already meaningless levels of aid to deal with a decades-spanning UXO threat – versus China’s offer of economic, infrastructural, and military partnerships – it finds itself in a self-feeding cycle of decline in Asia that will – in turn – further feed its decline as a global hegemon.

The cruel irony of America’s clumsy, inadequate, and embarrassing UXO policy in Southeast Asia is that the annual military budget that dwarfs its UXO annual removal efforts in Asia by a factor of tens of thousands, is being used to fuel conflict elsewhere around the globe – from the Middle East to North Africa, and Central Asia to Eastern Europe – that is littering the planet with not only additional UXO dangers, but new and more horrifying threats including depleted uranium munitions and chemical weapons proliferation.

While the US could potentially play a constructive, positive role in Asia Pacific, the same mentality that underpinned US foreign policy that drove the Vietnam War and resulted in the current UXO threat is the same mentality that still prevails today on Wall Street and in Washington. If that mentality and those possessing it are not rooted out, America’s current state of decline will be terminal.

November 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment